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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2008 Jul 15;124(1-2):82-92. doi: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2008.02.014. Epub 2008 Feb 26.

Increased expression of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma in the immune system of weaned pigs after Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide injection.

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Hubei Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science, Wuhan Polytechnic University, Wuhan 430023, China.


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma), a member of the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily, has been implicated in regulation of immunity and inflammation in rodents and humans. The objective of the current study was to investigate whether the expression of PPARgamma was altered in the immune system of weaned pigs after Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injection. PPARgamma expression was investigated in the thymus, spleen, mesenteric lymph node and peripheral white blood cells of weaned pigs (8.54+/-0.24 kg BW) after LPS injection (100 microg/kg BW, n=6) and controls (sterile saline, n=6), by using real-time polymerase chain reaction, Western blot analysis, and immunohistochemistry. Plasma pro-inflammatory cytokines and hormones were also assessed. LPS triggered PPARgamma mRNA and protein expression in the thymus (P<0.05, 4.24-fold; P<0.10, 1.46-fold), spleen (P<0.10, 2.75-fold; P<0.05, 1.84-fold), mesenteric lymph node (P<0.05, 4.32-fold; P<0.05, 1.96-fold) and peripheral white blood cells (P<0.001, 24.44-fold; P<0.001, 1.58-fold). The LPS-injected pigs showed an increase in PPARgamma staining in splenic corpuscle and periarterial lymphatic sheath of white pulp (P<0.05) and red pulp (P<0.001) of spleen, and in medullas of thymus lobule of thymus (P<0.05), and in thymus-dependent area of mesenteric lymph node (P<0.05) compared to the control pigs. Concurrent with up-regulation of PPARgamma expression, LPS induced increases in plasma interleukin-6 (P<0.001), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (P<0.001), cortisol (P<0.001), prostaglandin E(2) (P<0.01) and 15-deoxy-Delta(12,14)-prostaglandin J(2) (15 d-PGJ(2)) (P<0.05), and decreases in plasma insulin (P<0.10) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (P<0.001). These results suggest that induction of PPARgamma expression in immune system may be associated with the release of the natural PPARgamma activating ligand 15 d-PGJ(2), and play an important role in host response to immunological stress. Additionally, it is possible that PPARgamma would be a new therapeutic target in treatment of immunological stress of livestock.

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